Media Wales recently highlighted the plight of 100 workers in one of Wales last major drift mines. The Unity Mine at Heol Wenallt, Cwmgwrach in Neath has in recent years been affected by the decline of the global price of coal, however any chance of salvation has been crushed by Neath Port Talbot County Council.
It has been claimed that the council has been stood idol behind red tape whilst Peter Hain, the MP for the area, has apparently been working tirelessly to save the mine. Mr Hain stated,
“I have been told that men were being laid off because of delays from Neath Port Talbot County Council in delivering planning consents necessary to give confidence for new investment.
The jobs are paid well above the local average and are vital for local communities.”
These job losses are in addition to the 300 jobs lost at a nearby mine earlier this year, which has since re-opened with a faction of the staff. The area also suffered a major jobs blow in 2009 when car parts plant TRW, formerly Cam Gears, announced it was closing.
Job losses in the area could have been limited with more effort from local representatives to cut the bureaucracy standing in the way of business. The Welsh Government have apparently been working to promote Welsh business and Welsh opportunity for over a decade with no benefit for the people of Neath Port Talbot. This is what happens when we put politicians in charge of picking winners and losers in business with other people's' money.
Rather than the local economy benefiting from resilient business and well-paid jobs we now have another 100 families worried about their future thanks to the local authority blundering.